It’s been a hot year for the stars of boxing in 2017 with more heat on the horizon. I don’t know about you, but as a fan, I would damn near lose my mind watching these five fights in 2018.
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5. “SHOWTIME” SHAWN PORTER V DANNY “SWIFT” GARCIA
Porter had an epic, CBS primetime clash with WBC/WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman in June 2016 at Barclays Center.
After dropping a split decision to “One-Time” no wider than dental floss, the former IBF champion finally returned to Brooklyn in April to smash Andre Berto for Premier Boxing Champions.
Desperate to avenge defeat to Thurman, “Showtime” watched Keith edge Philadelphia’s proud Latino slugger via split decision. It’s only right that “Swift” comes off the shelf to collide with Porter.
4. CANELO ALVAREZ V JERMELL CHARLO
Canelo made sure he released a statement that appeared on ESPN earlier, basically telling you, the fan, how badly he wants a rematch with Gennady Golovkin– tomorrow. Politics and beating a dead horse aside (Canelo gets a clear UD in a rematch with an aging GGG), I’d rather see this one instead.
Alvarez is a great fighter, with an all-ham powerful and stealthy counterpunching style that would blend like cheese opposite the straight brick Charlo. Want a demonstration of my point? Watch what Jermell’s Felix Trinidad-like offense does to a very solid Erickson Lubin on October 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
3. NAOYA INOUE V SRISKET SOR RUNGVISAI
There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that HBO doesn’t make this mini-superfight, most likely late next year. In Japan’s Naoya Inoue (pronounced “in a way”), we’re looking at a man who fights like a tyrant, while in possession of a jab like would make former welterweight great Ike Quartey blush.
Thailand’s quiet tsunami, Sor Rungvisai, made a lot of noise by completely wiping out all-time great Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez..
..to the point we almost forgot there was a first fight between them. What that fight did was make SSR realize just how good he is– as he demonstrated emphatically. This fight would raise blood pressure all over Asia.
2. VASYL LOMACHENKO V MIKEY GARCIA
If they can work out logistics, what a natural superfight this is. On December 9 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Lomachenko will most likely show the great Guillermo Rigondeaux that playing with fire only gets you burned. Two weight divisions bigger than the super bantamweight Rigo and really a lightweight, Loma will have some explaining to do against a Mikey Garcia too big for lightweight.
RING and WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares should be up next for the WBC champ, also in December, which can only build the drama for a modern version of Sugar Ray Leonard V Roberto Duran.
1. TERENCE “BUD” CRAWFORD V ERROL SPENCE JR
Errol Spence Jr probably begs to differ, but you gotta love Bud’s swagger. Some might think it’s too soon or a reach to consider this fight in 2018, then again, why not? I know times have changed, but Sugar Ray and “The Hitman” decided to go for broke well under 25 for supremacy. Errol’s 27 and Bud is a peak 29… It’s time to do this.
More than the others on this list, this fight would offer the most impact on legacy and greatness. Keith “One-Time” Thurman will be back at full strength – most likely for Spence, with WBO paper champion Jeff Horn in line to get his ass absolutely beat by Crawford.
If you thought 2017 was something, wait’ll you get a hold of boxing in 2018.